This page will demonstrate how to use insaneSums. The user interface was developed with two goals in mind:
- It should be compact, while keeping the functionality intact.
- New users should have no problems operating the program and keeping clicks to a minimum.
We hope we succeeded. However, some users might not be too familiar with hash sums and how they work. And since it is not always easy to work in an environment, whose purpose is not clear, this tutorial should get you started.
Choosing a file to hash
First off, you need a file to hash. You probably figured that out already: Click on the “…” button in the upper right corner (not the button for closing the window). An “Open file” dialog should appear. Navigate to your file and select it.
In case you already have a file browser window open (or the file is on the desktop), there is a faster way of opening it: Drag the file from it’s location in the file browser into the insaneSums window and drop it.
Calculate the hash
Now that you have selected a file, you can calculate the respective hash. For this, the middle part of the window is important. You can see three buttons: “MD5″, “SHA1″ and “SHA256″. These are the most common hash algorithms used for file hashing. Should you try to verify a download, you are going to have to check what hash algorithm is provided on the website. However, you should not blindly use the first one you stumble across if several are given. Should you have the choice, you should choose an algorithm that is farther to the right in insaneSums. MD5 and SHA1 are legacy algorithms. They are still widely in use, but MD5 is considered broken and usage of SHA1 is discouraged.
You can see, that the “SHA256″ button has an arrow on the side. When you click on the arrow, a drop down menu pops up, which allows you to choose several other algorithms. They are again listed in order of safety, beginning with the least secure from top to bottom.
Once you have clicked one of these buttons the hash calculation begins.
You can see the progress of the hashing in the progress bar below the three hashing buttons. In case you want to abort the hashing process, simply click on the red X to the right of the progress bar.
Once the hashing is complete…
… the program shows you the hash value of your file in the line just below the progress bar. This effectively identifies your file.
Now that you have the hash value of your file, the main purpose of the program is finished. However, you might want to compare your file’s hash value to the one given on a website or by someone else. This might still be easy when it’s only a MD5 hash, but once you come across SHA2 hash algorithms you might want to let the computer check it for you. That is where the last section of the program, called “Comparison”, comes in handy. When you enter another hash value into the input field in this section, it is being compared to the one you just calculated.
This is how it should look like, when the entered hash is equal to yours. The field in the lower left corner shows you the result. It is green when the hashes match…
… and red when they do not.
To make it easier and faster to operate the program, you may also select the hash provided on a website and drag it into the insaneSums window. As soon as you drop it over the window, it should be entered into the comparison field, as long as it matches the pattern of a hash value. The program distinguishes between hashes and files when accepting drops into the window.
This is it. You might wonder what the “About” button does. Simply press it and find out. It does not offer any more functionality relevant for the program.